How does a barcamp work? Why do I go there and what happens there?
I have a question or an idea that I would like to discuss with others. However, I might not want to talk about it (only) with my friends or family, but also with people who have a different background than I do.
The barcamp is a good place for that. So I register at a suitable barcamp. Example: The “Barcamp Rhein-Neckar” is open-topic, so here I can bring any topic.
Many people come to the Barcamp who also have questions or ideas, or who simply want to learn something new. At the beginning, we all introduce ourselves briefly. Each person with a name and three keywords (hashtags) that define or move him/her.
After that, each person who wants to, presents the topic that they would like to discuss at the Barcamp. Everyone who is interested in the topic raises their hand. This way you can see if there is any interest at all and how big the room should be.
All topics that have attracted interest will be entered on a large session plan. Each topic becomes a “session”. Each session gets a room for 45 minutes. So in this time I can explain and discuss my topic.
I can choose which sessions I want to attend. I can get involved or just listen. If I don’t like a session, I can leave in between.
In my own session, I briefly introduce my topic and then ask for active participation. This way, questions can be answered and discussions can arise.
The structure of a session is not fixed. I can simply ask a question and hope for answers. It can be a discussion session.
Also a performance is possible, make music, dance, play, sports. Workshops are gladly offered, mostly for technical or artistic topics.
Frontal presentations are also common. If the topic is exciting, this can be very entertaining for 45 minutes. Of course, there are also mixed forms of this or something completely different – for example, a thematic walk through the city.
Between and after the sessions, I get to talk to a lot of people. So I can continue to talk about the topic with interested people after my session. I can set up a new initiative or just have a nice day.
Most of the time, everyone’s head is pretty full at the end, there’s a lot of chatting, laughing and a lot of learning. Since there is also food and drink in between, the head also has enough energy.
I have now received a lot of feedback for my new idea and also found new contacts who would like to know more about it.
(Cover: “Unsere fragile Moderne: Landpartie” (Jürgen Thenent, based on Léger))